Friday, August 11, 2017

The Licentiam

Five poems about fiancée here at The Licentiam, an awesome zine for experimental erotic work. 

Jennifer Chesler

Here is a link to the blog of my brilliant fiancée Jennifer Chesler. There are old excerpts from novels in progress. She shall, however, be writing again soon, so new awesome work will be available there.

EDIT: Jennifer & I are preparing an MSS of "filthy literature"/"pornoetry" which is neither erotica nor pornography, but simply about the details of human existence as they manifest themselves in good hard fucking between decent everyday perverts.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Full of Crow

Thanks to editor Lynn Alexander, three form forthcoming book in Full of Crow.

new book soon

As previously planned, a book is due soon from Craig Podmore's Antiseptic Press, Emma forever. (I sort of changed my mind about quitting writing.)

Here are some blurbs and then the cover.  

Forever Emma is easily McLean’s best endeavor so far: while encapsulating the atheistic manifestations in his prior works (ghost death blood corpse absence distance) these elements are breathed to life, as to living characters, through valid love for his Emma. Love is not a neutral topic, and David makes certain that it stays that way. Emma is alive, yet full of resplendent contradiction, conflict, confusion. Time is beaten down, means nothing at all except something that the love David writes of destroys. There is nothing past touch, the poet writes, & I say, as an avid follower of David’s work, that to beat time down, to make love immortal, is the poet’s endgame.


Carolyn Srygley-Moore, author of Ode to Horatio and other saviors & Miracles of the blog: a series


In this collection, David McLean has hit the full maturity of his poetry: a deep skin awareness/memory of every touch of mind and body. Love in the desperate chaos/shit surrounding McLean and his Emma. He/It swallows us and spits us out again, ever-questioning and re-reading. I love this collection.

Reuben Woolley, author of skins & dying notes, editor of I am not a silent poet & The Curly Mind


David McLean's words rip through nerve collage unleashing hoodoo whispers as well as unpredictable outbursts that crush linear glide. brace yourself for a wild ride through heaven and hell collapsing in on themselves. it's more than worth the price of the ticket.


Mark Hartenbach – author of the lost bastard chronicles & bring me the head of Marko X


David McLean’s latest poetry collection “Forever Emma” is his best work to date. The poems scream unadulterated passion -- reading like tortured fever dreams of obsession, madness, absolution, redemption.

Stripped to the bone, we find a love story -- witnessing not only a fusion of selves but also a coming apart and a reassembling. We’re presented with a thirsty all-consuming love -- a love beyond absences, a love beyond even death.

To quote McLean from the poem “she is insect”:



…she is madness in my disgraceful veins, the changeless divine that is Demonica the eternal dressed in words & torture; i am here to worship her, i am hers to murder


In the midst of his more graphic images of blood and flesh and scarred skin, McLean offers up images of sheer beauty that linger. The one that will stay with me for the longest time appears in the poem “gray.”



it is gray here & i love you – as if every child everywhere were playing a trumpet & nothing would ever happen again except you and i touching


Poetry doesn’t get much better than that.


Barbara H. Moore, Author of Dancing On Broken Glass


I love your word choices. "I prefer the fang." Now the song from "Lost Boys" is playing, "Cry Little Sister" Your love for Emma really comes through. The dark god awful eviscerating truth of real erotic, romantic love in all its complexity.

Misti Rainwater, author of Bullshit Rodeo






Thursday, June 22, 2017

longshadowfall review


Michael Mc Aloran
longshadowfall
book review by David McLean

Mc Aloran’s new book is not about participating in any sort of Irish tradition, although the fact that he is Irish has obviously created an expectation that he be expected to care about Beckett & the other notable Irish writers, if there are any, especially since he does not create conventional prose in his texts. It is not evident in what way Mc Aloran follows in any Irish tradition given that he has developed an individual voice. Mc Aloran takes this subsumption of his work under the patriotic assumption of Irishness & some regional identity qua writer with some grace, since it must be very frustrating.
What the books are basically about is the circumstance that existence is extremely temporary & not driven by some fundamental meaning whereby things fit into their various places & are essentially & unproblematically what they are. We are loathsome ugly clumps of meat – the failing echo of which Mc Aloran writes is moronic repetition, it is the pathetic quest for meaning: there are no razors that do not have blood on them, nothing that does not rust, no flesh forever except the repetitive return of more worthless flesh. The echo might be an originary echo, the sounds that come out first are already echoes. The road, everywhere, is marked by shit, it is full of shit. A perfect place for the shit that is humanity to drag itself back to nothing.
I think that Mc Aloran would agree with my assessment of humanity that I developed from Homer Simpson “People do things because they are stupid & die because they deserve to” - there is carrion everywhere: people die so often that it is (almost) not even funny anymore.
The best aspect of Mc Aloran is the gloom. There is no trace of the inability that the later (& better) Becket regrets as he notices that words do not work, they just lie on the page & suck. This is because what Mc Aloran is portraying is the fact that meaning is not there, life sucks because it is meat that fails to mean.
When we die we will have failed to speak, we will have failed to mean, we will have failed to matter. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with modern society or any sort of political criticism, that’s just the way it is. We are left with “speech lack of claim/ words dead foreign ice encasing fathom untimely said
It helps to be mad, it helps to be drunk. Buy this book. It’s available from the usual culprits & the publishers here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stray Branch

Delighted to have poems in The Stray Branch this fall. The issue maybe purchased at the link or downloaded. Huge thanks to Debbie Berk for taking the stuff.

Here is the hard copy at this link.

The digital download is at this link.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Curly Mind

Delighted to have five things at The Curly Mind

she is insect

here is beasts

suicide fingers

if i were to sleep

&

confusion was

Thanks Reuben Wooley.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

"The Gods are Dead" - Joanna C. Valente



Joanna C. Valente
The Gods are Dead (2015)
(Deadly Chaps Press)
review by David McLean

This book by Joanna C. Valente is like a naturalization of Tarot & occult symbolism reflected in the bizarre unlikelihood of real lives since the symbolic figures of the major arcana are used to symbolize something of contemporary relevance. It's beautifully illustrated by Ted Chevalier & the book itself is very well made.

Valente is good at titles: “The Moon is Always Horny”, “The Hermit Used to be the Guitarist in Your Favorite Band”, “Judgment Promises Life After the Internet”, “The Hanged Man Will Ghostwrite Your Life”, & so on;

I am dead as a forgotten
man, no mind / I am a broken vessel.
(The Hanged Man Will Ghostwrite Your Life)

says the lamb, before he “spreads, purrs into a shit/ angel”. These are poems of sacrifice & the futility of sacrifice, the necessity of ritual, & whatever heaven a religion imagines might exist will not fit us.

He measures his life by expiration
Dates / Milk in the fridge has two
weeks til death / bananas grow
black as the inside of a coffin
(Death Rides a Pale Horse)

I have mentioned titles, & the next excerpt is from a classic:

... He wakes alone
the next morning, his back

rough from ropes. Lilies
spread across the bed - petals
of who he will become
(At Night, Temperance Works as a Dominatrix

Landscapes are supposed to be desolate, & the imagery of these poems invites the reader to conceptualize themselves more creatively. The most pivotal poem seems to be this one:

the air streams
stillness as if someone
died while making
love

He has never made
love.
Instead he cuts up
books
to orgasm. ...

......

Someone could stop;
instead chose to be
somebody.
(The Hierophant Builds the Bridge Between Deity and Humanity)

Again this book by Valente is an excellent read, & heartily to be recommended. You don't need to know or care about the Tarot, the poems create their own symbolism & the archetypes are more universal. The books is on sale here: http://www.deadlychaps.com/joanna-valente/


"Marys of the Sea" - Joanna C. Valente


Joanna C. Valente
Marys of the Sea
ELJ Publications
review by David McLean
Obviously with a religious reference in the title, this book is full of powerful poems that create an alternative mythology for the female body in the face of abuse & the exigencies of motherhood together with the obvious alternative, abortion. This is important, since conceptualization and categorization of items within a reality influence how one feels able to interact with and/or challenge that reality. I shall refrain from discussing any feminist message since i am rather old-school & consider that a man does not have a feminist consciousness since he cannot, & feminism involves conscious awareness, with an epistemological privilege that a person possesses qua oppressed. Were I to do so, then Empire would speak, not really me. But the dispossession & lack of rootedness & reality is a general theme, it speaks of the lack of autochthonousness that marks the deconstructed self, as bodies scramble in the dirt for identities worth having,.
We are only human, says Valente, when someone is looking. The self is not something we have, just like problems aren't something we have outside of a social context. The main problem with the late-capitalist socius is that nobody gives a flying fuck who you are: everything, everybody, every body is an object to be used & exploited; it is a resource. & again the oppressed oppress best. It is “some of the women in town” who want Mary punished, just as it is women who very often insist on FGM.
The book is full of perfect references to other poetry. I want to quote in full one short poem that like one that I myself did more verbosely is a tribute “Lullaby” by Auden. Valente's sampling is much better, though:
Humans, yr sleeping head lies
on arms with no bones.
burn beauty away
with time. Children prove it true.
For now, lie here in my arms
our guilt entirely beautiful.

(Lullaby on the Half Shell)
I don't read much poetry anymore. This might sound exaggerated, but Valente's poems are a sort of belated consolation for the death of Sylvia Plath. I think they're that good, & you would be a fool not to read them.


"at vacuum's edge, Michael Mc Aloran


Michael Mc Aloran
at vacuum's edge
Black Editions Press
review/blurb by David McLean

this chapbook concerns what we have as if to say. when faced by the other than. it is no alienation exactly but the necessary incongruity of the being human with the actual instantiation of all that within the brute meat we sort of want to torture even if the other may conceivably be rather like us

it is also of collisions – a collidescope, as he puts it, mirroring where the worlds minds drag around to imprison them bump into the other cunt.

again/ upon/ sodden crimson red recollect of
bounty’s trace of unforgiven/ dries the eyes what
depth till following lack abort what sung as if to
drift matter of forgotten as before once said
eradicated/ engulfed once more/ yet mocking the
reek/ (tread from this life disease what will stake
claims upon the ocean’s filtering lights)/ and the
bitten song/ a neck snapped in a gild of apathy/
nothing of the tears that demarcate the surface/
bore holes into the surface quadrant/ nothing
known...

the problem of epistemology is not that nothing is known but that maybe what is mostly worthy of knowing is just the nothing/ that which one should designate almost imperceptibly by the via negativa.

whatever is in some sense given is not the significant. we cannot signify what matters which is not that nothing does. this chapbook is as far from nihilism as it is possible to be & whoever says it is just that is as ignorant as those who attribute the same alleged perversity to me.